Power play struggles hurt Grizzlies in 2-1 loss



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WEST VALLEY CITY — Nearly a week after posting their first road win of the season with a victory over the San Francisco Bulls, the Utah Grizzlies returned home for a contest with the same Bulls the day after Thanksgiving.

The Grizzlies struggled on the power play in going 0-for-7 Friday night in falling, 2-1, to San Francisco at Maverik Center.

"(We're) playing well defensively, (but we're) just not scoring goals," Utah Grizzlies head coach Tim Branham said. "We can't change what we're doing."

Things started out great for the Grizzlies Friday on "Teddy Bear Toss Night" where fans were invited to bring their own stuffed animals to throw on the ice after the home team's first goal.

Fans didn’t have to wait long, however, when Norm Ezekiel found the back of the net for his first goal of the season to give the Grizzlies the early 1-0 lead.

As the period wound down, the Bulls tied the game when a tough shot bounced into the net.

Early in the second period, Utah's Danick Paquette was whistled for a five-minute major for kneeing and as well as game misconduct, and was ejected. To make things worse, Utah's Michael Pelech was called for a cross-check to put the Grizzlies two men down.

"I hope he's not suspended," Branham said of Paquette. "He didn't stick his knee out, but that's his reputation, right?"

After the Bulls were called for a penalty to send a man to the box, they scored what proved to be the game-winning goal.

Later in the period, the Grizzlies got a power-play opportunity, but they couldn’t find the net.

Utah, which outshot the Bulls in the third period, got two power-play opportunities early in the period, but they were unable to deliver the equalizer.

"You win some and you lose some," Utah's Ben Meisner said. "I'm fine and totally ready to get back in the net."

The Grizzlies now fall to 5-8-1-1 overall and are in fourth place in the Western Conference Mountain Division standings.

Utah will get another crack at the Bulls, who are 2-0 in Utah this year, at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.

GAME NOTES: The Grizzlies fall to 4-3-1-1 at home this year ... Last week, Paquette led Utah with two goals and an assist for the Grizzlies ... Igor Bobkov returned to the Grizzlies Friday night, but did not start. Follow David Winkworth on Twitter @Davito23 and listen to his sports talk radio show at sportsathome.webs.com.

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